GLOVERSVILLE — Highlighting and boosting businesses that are open and re-opening during the pandemic is the goal of a new campaign created by the Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Chamber President Mark Kilmer explained the “Fulton Montgomery RESILIENT” campaign will kick off as the holiday season approaches, “to show the moxie of our local business leaders, who have shown their penchant for innovation, and generous spirit throughout the pandemic.”
The campaign is designed to help to get the word out that Fulton and Montgomery counties are “back to business,” he said. The promotion features themed posters and signage, supported by the Chamber’s social media postings and public relations information submitted to local media. Companies can use these materials to welcome customers and staff members back through their doors, and customers can visually see the posters and signage to know that the company is hard at work here in our community.
Across the country, more small businesses report reopening and have cautious optimism about the future despite concerns about a resurgence of the coronavirus according to the latest MetLife & U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Coronavirus Impact Poll.
The survey focused on the ongoing impact from the coronavirus.
Kilmer said he agreed with the report, that said this month, more small businesses say they are open. Small businesses that temporarily closed at some point since the pandemic began are more likely to say that they reopened this month (69 percent) than in late May (43 percent). This month, 86 percent of small businesses surveyed report they are either fully (52 percent) or partially (34 percent) open, up seven points from 79 percent in May.
The survey report also said, “Fewer small businesses perceive their local economy as in poor health (39 percent) when compared to the national economy (55 percent).
Overall, small business views of the local economy are steady: 31 percent view their local economy as in “good” health compared to 28 percent in May. 39 percent see the local economy in “poor” health, statistically unchanged from May (38 percent).
Kilmer said the Fulton Montgomery RESILIENT campaign was designed as a way to help prop up local business owners and leaders who show signs of guarded optimism, but feel it will be some time before things return to normal. The survey said “More than half of small businesses believe it will take six months to a year before the small business climate returns to normal (56 percent), in line with late May’s 55 percent. Another 7 percent think that it will never return to normal.”
He said, “Being in business is always challenging, and our small businesses and corporations have had an extremely tough year. We stand beside our colleagues as they reopen, knowing that they are a large part of what makes our community a wonderful place to live and work.”
Kilmer said through this campaign and beyond, the Chamber will be an active cheerleader for businesses by sharing information, educational programming and positive stories through the organization’s many promotional outlets, including via its active Facebook community, website and with public relations.
“Our goal is to support commerce in any way that we can,” he said.
During the beginning and height of the crisis, the Chamber took on the responsibility of ensuring that business leaders in this region also had every information resource they needed during the unusual time. Informational e-blasts offered the latest development/regulations coming out of Albany and Washington so that company leaders could navigate the rapidly changing landscape. The Chamber also partnered with local companies that manufacture or provide personal protective equipment and cleaning and maintenance supplies to ensure that each member business has the knowledge, supplies and equipment needed to reopen successfully.
As part of the campaign, the Chamber will thank three special businesses who have joined as major sponsors of the project, with their own individual announcements. Each is a well-known economic driver in the region, and have expressed eagerness to support the campaign and stand with their colleagues in all Fulton and Montgomery industries.
Janet Davis, the Chamber’s Membership Director, spends the majority of her time speaking with business leaders in the region. She said she has been heartened by all the stories she has heard about resilience and the spirit of business owners in the area. “I am very proud and impressed by all of the Chamber member businesses I speak with. They are out there working very hard to not only survive this COVID crisis, but to come back better than ever.”
Anne Boles, the Chamber’s Director of Tourism Development, echoed Davis’s sentiments, saying that tourism attractions, restaurants and other visitor-reliant entities are doing all the right things to ensure that visitors are safe and welcomed in the best way possible. “So many of our sites are thriving despite the difficult circumstances,” she said. “They deserve to be congratulated and supported, especially as we head into the busy holidays.”
Kilmer asked local consumers to watch for the special “Fulton Montgomery RESILIENT” signage in area retail establishments, as well as other businesses. The “OPEN FOR BUSINESS” signs are a message from the business to their valued customers, and state: “Being in business is not easy. But we are moving forward with courage and determination. As we reopen and build momentum, we thank you, our customer, for being there every step of the way. Together, we will win the battle, and our community will thrive and see success.”
For more information about the “FM RESILIENT” campaign, or the ways that the Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce supports local businesses, contact the Chamber at (518) 725-0641, visit online at www.fultonmontgomeryny.org; or visit on Facebook.